Letter: Can people get control of government?

Published 8:28 pm Friday, August 24, 2018

A brilliant woman acquaintance said, “We don’t need more research. We need the political will to apply what we already know.” Our voters favor putting Social Security on a sound financial foundation, but our government does nothing. Our people have gone green. Our government acts to prolong the life of the fossil fuel industries. Our people want Medicare for all instead of heroic medical interventions for those who can afford it. Our representative government sabotages Obamacare. The absence of political will may be explained by Nancy MacLean’s “Democracy in Chains.” It is apparent that nothing will be done without the consent of the oligarchs who finance both corporate political parties. Why do we perpetuate this sad example of representative government?

The appropriately named feudal system was characterized by warfare between shifting alliances of powerful families. In return for secure possession of their wealth and power, those families contracted to give up the right to appropriate anything they desired. To preserve the agreement, countries formed alliances, creating a balance of power. The power rested on the ability of member states to mobilize the population to war. Life aboard the English Navy’s ships was so miserable that England had to kidnap and enslave sailors. The United States chose to gain support by broadening political and economic participation. With modern weaponry, countries attacked won’t have time to mobilize. A large population wanting protection becomes a strategic liability instead of an asset — hence, genocide and death through deprivation. It would be imprudent of rulers to admit that their inability or their unwillingness to protect their people, so they deny their responsibility and perpetuate their racket by buying $160 million airplanes designed to fight yesterday’s wars.

It is said that women and children are the first to suffer in a war. Can common people wrest control of government from the corporate state by any means short of civil war?

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John E. Gibson